Situationist App Helps You Talk to Strangers


Where the Internet enabled people to reach out and chat with/e-mail/stalk a stranger, mobile apps are hard at work helping smartphone users reach out and touch them. Or, in the Situationist’s case, reach out and get into potentially awkward encounters with them. The app, just released for the iPhone today, lets members upload a photo and pick from a short list of situations they’d be open to finding themselves in — from “Hug me for five seconds” to “Help me rouse everyone around us into revolutionary fervor and storm the nearest TV station.” Whenever a member is nearby, users get an alert about their desired situation. What’s with the radical politics? The app’s creators say it’s a reference to the Situationists, the same political and artistic movement that inspired the May 1968 riots in Paris. Because, of course, the best way to reconstruct “everyday life away from the passive media spectacle and the instrumental banality of advanced capitalist society” is to get strangers to compliment you on your haircut. Which looks great, by the way.